03 May 20XX +1
My Dear Lucilius:
One of the most “annoying” things about living here is the fact that gardening has to start so late.
Our temperatures here in general during the day firmly say “Spring”, but our night temperatures firmly say “But not quite yet”. It is not that the overnight drop would inherently be bad, but is a problem with the overall soil temperature.
I have never been “good” at timing the time to plant. It was easiest where I first grew up of course: I clearly knew the seasons and precisely when to plant. It was less easy in the place we made our home for years: the weather was often too variable and “too early” often turned into “too late”.
Here, of course, I have had to completely start over with learning when and where. And in the past, I have managed to get it wrong even more than before. The rather unfortunate part, at the moment, is that now more than ever, I need to get it right.
I have help now, of course. Young Xerxes and Statiera and Pompeia Paulina have proved very valuable in this (as in so many ways). I had my books and my notes from previous years; this year I have taken the trouble to actually ask – thus, much of the Spring/Summer planting remains in the greenhouse, waiting until what likely seems much more like the end of this month to be moved out. They are usually rather kind about their suggestions, commenting in the roundabout way that strangers suggest things without being intrusive: “You were not planning on putting that out, were you?”
“No no” I awkwardly reply, “just moving things around in the greenhouse”. I then shuffle things a bit, trying to look as if this all was planned.
On the bright side, the increase in temperature (and length of daylight) continues to benefit other areas. The Winter holdovers are moving right along with growing (Leeks and Garlic and Onions and such). The Winter Wheat and Barley I planted have resumed their growing patterns, looking towards two months or so hence when I will harvest them. The bees are enjoying the continued good weather as well; I have not quite pulled the hive entrance restrictors out, but will likely do so in another two weeks.
And, in a stroke of what I can only consider good fortune, it appears I may have broody quail. I have asked Xerxes to see if anyone in the larger network has any other quail, and what if anything they would be willing to trade for them.
It is perhaps presumptuous to say “Things are looking up” given the current circumstances, but at least the increase in temperature and light means that they at least have the appearance of doing so.
And sometimes, even the “appearance of” can work wonders.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca